Greenhouse gas and energy based life cycle analysis of products from the Irish wood processing industry

Title: Greenhouse gas and energy based life cycle analysis of products from the Irish wood processing industry
Authors: Murphy, Fionnuala
Devlin, Ger
McDonnell, Kevin
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Date: 9-Jan-2015
Abstract: The timber industry in Ireland is an important producer of wood products for export and indigenous use, and supplies significant volumes of sawmill co-products as biomass for energy generation. This research expands existing knowledge on the environmental impacts of wood supply chains in Ireland by widening the analysis to incorporate the wood processing stage. The study determines and analyses energy and material inputs in the production of several timber products; sawnwood, wood chip, wood-based panel (WBP) boards and wood pellets, with an analysis of the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Forestry operations and transportation make an important contribution to overall emissions. Electricity usage is responsible for the majority of emissions in sawmilling. Integration of combined heat and power (CHP) systems with sawmilling and pellet manufacture reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The penetration of renewables in the Irish national grid mix is forecast to increase by 2020 in line with EU renewable energy targets. Analysis shows that the forecast fall in the carbon intensity of the grid will have a positive effect on the reduction of GHG emissions from the wood processing supply chains. Wood energy products compare favourably with other sources of biomass energy and with fossil fuels.
Funding Details: Science Foundation Ireland
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2015 Elsevier
Keywords: Wood processingWood energyWood chipWood pelletsCombined heat and powerLife cycle assessment (LCA)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.01.001
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Biosystems and Food Engineering Research Collection

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